Montclair State University President Dr. Susan A. Cole officially launched fundraising efforts for the University's new state-of-the-art theater at a dinner, "A Magical Evening Celebrating Music, Theater and Dance," at MSU's Student Center on May 8, 2002.
Plans for the Alexander Kasser Theater were presented to an audience of 265 that included members of the family who provided the naming gift that will help make the $19 million theater -- currently under construction on the MSU campus -- possible.
Mary V. Mochary and her brother, I. Michael Kasser, along with other family members, have made a $4 million leadership gift in honor of their late father, Alexander Kasser, an international philanthropist, art lover and one-time Montclair resident. The 500-seat theater will celebrate his life and accomplishments and be a permanent tribute to the family's enduring commitment to Montclair, the arts and philanthropy.
The theater -- designed by the leading architectural firm, the Hillier Group -- is scheduled to open in 2004. Generous support for the evening was provided by First Union Bank, Fleet Bank, the Prudential Insurance Company of America, Schering Plough Research Institute and the Hillier Group.
"I am very grateful to the Kasser-Mochary family," Dr. Cole said. Addressing assembled family members -- Kasser, Mochary and Mochary's children, attorney Alexandra Bergstein and Matthew Mochary, founder of Totality.com -- Dr. Cole said that "What you have started to build here is going to stand for generations and generations. Thanks to your generosity, thousands upon thousands of students, faculty and members of the community are going to have opportunities for learning, teaching, and access to the arts that otherwise would never have been available to them. I cannot tell you how much it means to us. On behalf of our superb faculty and our talented students, on behalf of the young people of New Jersey who will benefit from this institution, I thank you from the bottom of my heart."